Anyone with a cooking passion longs for more time to cook; time to delve deeper into recipes and ingredients; time to actually watch yeast work. When we decided to spend a few weeks in our friend’s house in West Virginia, I had two thoughts: my skiing will improve and unlimited kitchen time.
My recent cooking tick list starts with cheese straws for the Jack Frost party. They turned out well first time. First time success is not a given for me. Considering the amount of cheese and butter that go into the straws they will be special occasion only. Next I improved my bean cooking. I know this should be simple but for me a good pot of beans has always been a mystery. Then I moved along to bread baking. I started with my faithful Moosewood Basic Bread recipe before venturing into french bread. Big props to bro-n-law Kevin and his cookbook. Kevin edited all his grandma’s recipes into a monster volume of southern delight. The cheese straws and french bread recipes came from it. After accidently making too much french bread dough I stored the extra in the fridge and later used it to make a super sized calzone and garlic knots.
My latest food victory is the biscuit. I love biscuits but have seldom made them myself. After going through a few recipes I turned out a fine pan of biscuits this morning. And I proved yet again when a recipe calls for shortening you can replace it with butter. Butter makes everything all right.
Since one can not or should not live by bread alone, I’ve enjoyed this slower pace to make many of my old favorites such as veggie chili, cookies, pasta dishes and more. Soon it will be time to stop this constant feast and resume our travels but this kitchen time has been a fine time.